Fifth place for Al-Zubair and Al-Manar Racing by HRT Team in Dubai 24h

Fifth place for Al-Zubair and Al-Manar Racing by HRT Team in Dubai 24h

15.01.2022: Hankook 24H Dubai – Dubai Autodrome, January 13th-15th, 2022 Saturday, January 15th, 2022 Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair and the Al-Manar Racing by HRT Team claimed fifth position in the Hankook 24H Dubai at the Dubai Autodrome on Saturday aftern



 Hankook 24H Dubai – Dubai Autodrome,
January 13th-15th, 2022
 Saturday, January 15th, 2022

 

Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair and the Al-Manar Racing by HRT Team claimed fifth position in the Hankook 24H Dubai at the Dubai Autodrome on Saturday afternoon.

 


Al-Zubair teamed up with Dutchman Indy Dontje, Germany’s driver Luca Stolz and Austrian Martin Konrad in the second of two Mercedes-AMG GT3’s run by the Haupt Racing Team. They finished seven laps behind the leading Audi R8 LMS GT3 after completing 589 tours of the Dubai circuit.
 


The sister Abu Dhabi Racing by HRT car finished fourth in the hands of team owner Hubert Haupt, Khaled Al-Qubaisi, Raffaele Marciello and Manuel Metzger, with the outright race win after 596 laps and 24 hours of demanding racing falling to MS7 by WRT’s Mohammed Saud Fahad Al-Saud, Axcil Jefferies, Dries Vanthoor, Christopher Mies and Thomas Neubauer.
 


Al-Zubair said:
“The race was a very good one, definitely a tough one, and we needed two cars. Coming into the Pro category, we knew there was going to be a lot of tough teams. But from practice and qualifying, my team did a really great job, the team and all the drivers.
 


“We really felt that we had a chance for the win but we had fuel pump issues and lost three laps. From then on, the chance of victory had gone. Definitely a tough one, but finishing fifth out of 82 cars and in the Pro category in my first 24 Hours is something that I should feel proud of.”
 


The crew began the race strongly and held fifth place throughout much of the first sector behind the two WRT and MS7 by WRT Audis, their third-placed team-mates in the Abu Dhabi Racing by HRT Mercedes and Barwell Motorsport’s Lamborghini Huracan.
 


With just over six hours of the race run, the leading Audi had completed 133 laps and Al Manar Racing’s Mercedes was a mere one and a half laps adrift. The team pitted soon afterwards and slipped to 12th with Al-Zubair taking over driving duties into the early evening. The Omani was swiftly back up to 11th.
 


With less than 10 hours to go, as dawn broke over the Dubai circuit, the had climbed back to fifth place with Al-Zubair at the wheel, 343 laps into the race and two laps behind. But the quartet were not able to reduce the deficit during the morning and through the closing stages of the race and were forced to settle for fifth overall.
 


The team qualified the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in third place on Friday afternoon with an average of the best three laps of 1min 59.060sec.


Pole position fell to Team WRT’s Audi R8 LMS GT3, with Al-Zubair’s team-mates Haupt, Al-Qubaisi, Marciello and Metzger lining up in second place on the front row of the grid. The Al-Manar Racing Mercedes was a mere 0.375 seconds off pole position.
 


Teams were then permitted to carry out night-time practice on the Dubai Autodrome circuit. The Al-Manar racing Mercedes ran for 35 laps and was classified in sixth place with the fastest lap of the session set by Sainteloc Racing’s Audi R8 LMS GT3.
 



- Neil Perkins, photos HRT

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15.01.2022 / MaP

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